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Will electric bikes and scooters soon need number plates in France?

Senators have introduced a proposed law that would make licence plates mandatory for electric scooters (trottinettes) and most electric bikes

The new law, if passed, would see not just electric scooters, but electric bikes, be the subject of stricter regulations Pic: RossHelen / Shutterstock

Electric bikes and scooters in France may soon need to carry number plates – if a draft law introduced to the Senate is passed.

The proposed bill targets all vehicles with a “non-thermal engine” that can travel above 6km/h, which would include electric bikes and trottinette scooters.

Owners would be fined if an electric bike or other “motorised personal transport vehicle” did not have registration plates.

Only mobility vehicles for disabled people would be exempt.  

Currently, electric bikes that have a power output greater than 250W - or can reach a top speed of more than 45km/h - need to be registered. Electric trottinettes do not need to be registered.

Electric bikes are currently registered the same way as cars.

People born before January 1, 2008, do not need a licence to drive registered electric bikes, but those born after will need an AM (Apprentice Motorcyclist) licence (formerly known as the Brevet de Sécurité Routière) or a B licence

All riders of electric bikes that must currently be registered do however need to wear gloves, a helmet and have the bike insured - although these rules may be modified if the new law is adopted and less powerful bikes are to be registered too.

The draft law comes with high demand for electric bikes in France. More than 650,000 were sold in 2021, a rise of 28% compared to the previous year.

It is not the first time that a law such as this has been attempted, however.

Senators from the right-wing Les Républicains party last year tried to introduce a bill that would give number plates to all vehicles that travelled faster than 15km/h but the bill was rejected.

Related articles: 

Do France’s low-emissions zone rules apply to disabled drivers?

Public to vote on whether to keep for-hire e-scooters in Paris

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